Saturday, February 02, 2008

Sambor Prei Kuk style

A 7th century Sambor Prei Kuk lintel in situ
In wanting to emphasis the style of lintel acknowledged as the Sambor Prei Kuk style from the 7th century, and therefore pre-Angkorean, here is a lintel (above) and detail (below) taken from a couple of decorative lintels in situ within the actual Sambor Prei Kuk complex of temples. The lintels lie in an abandoned storage area near the northern grouping of brick temples. This is another text-book lintel of the earliest of the architectural styles. Inward-facing makaras, a monster with a scaly body, the claws of a bird of prey, a large head with a trunk, mouth open, spewing out a lion. Seated on the back of the makara is a swordsman with a cylindrical bonnet and above him, a flying figure. The four arches have jeweled garlands and pendants suspended below with three oval medallions above, with a worn figure of Indra on the central medallion. In the next two styles that followed, Prei Kmeng and Kompong Preah, the makaras were replaced by bouquets of flowers, the medallions disappear and the arches are replaced by garlands of vegetation.
Detail of the makara, or sea monster

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